Tom Felton Becomes Newest END7 Campaign Ambassador

“Harry Potter” star joins global effort to eliminate seven diseases by 2020

LONDON, April 12, 2012 – British actor Tom Felton is calling on his fans to join him in the fight to eliminate seven neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020. As an ambassador for the END7 campaign, Felton is helping to raise public awareness about these devastating diseases of poverty that infect one in six people worldwide, including 500 million children.

It costs just 50 pence to treat and protect one person against all seven major NTDs for an entire year. Pills to treat these diseases are donated by pharmaceutical companies and many programmes use existing infrastructure, such as schools and community centres, to administer the treatments—making NTD treatment one of most cost-effective public health initiatives available today.

“I was inspired to support the END7 campaign when I learned how easy it was for young people to get involved,” said Felton. “By donating just a few pence, anyone can help get these treatments to people who need them most and hopefully change the future for the millions of children growing up in developing countries around the world.”

NTDs cause blindness, massive swelling in appendages and limbs, severe malnutrition and anaemia.  These diseases prevent children from growing and learning. They reduce adults’ economic productivity and ability to care for their families, and thus keep families and communities trapped in a cycle of poverty and disease.

The END7 campaign, launched in January 2012 by the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, an initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, aims to raise the public awareness and funding required to cover the cost of distributing medicine and setting up treatment programmes for NTDs. It is the first comprehensive public awareness campaign dedicated to NTD treatment and elimination and relies heavily on compelling visual content disseminated through various social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to spread its message.

To learn more about NTDs or to join the END7 campaign, please visit END7 on Facebook. Together we can see the end!

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CONTACT: Johanna Harvey, Communications Officer, +1-202-621-1691, Johanna.harvey@sabin.org

About END7

END7 is a grassroots campaign that seeks to catalyse support for NTD control efforts to encourage major political and philanthropic leaders to increase funding for this important global health issue. The U.K. and U.S. governments, as well as major pharmaceutical companies, have already made significant contributions. END7 works with the World Health Organization and other global partners.

About NTDs

NTDs are a group of 17 parasitic and bacterial infections that are the most common afflictions of the world's poorest people. The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases focuses on the seven most common NTDs that account for 90 percent of the disease burden – elephantiasis, river blindness, snail fever, trachoma, hookworm, whipworm and roundworm. They blind, disable and disfigure their victims, trapping them in a cycle of poverty and disease. Research shows that treating NTDs lifts millions out of poverty by ensuring that children stay in school to learn and prosper, by strengthening worker productivity and by improving maternal and child health.

About Sabin Vaccine Institute 

Sabin Vaccine Institute is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organisation of scientists, researchers and advocates dedicated to reducing needless human suffering caused by vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases. Sabin works with governments, leading public and private organisations and academic institutions to provide solutions for some of the world's most pervasive health challenges. Since its founding in 1993 in honour of the oral polio vaccine developer, Dr. Albert B. Sabin, the Institute has been at the forefront of efforts to control, treat and eliminate these diseases by developing new vaccines, advocating the use of existing vaccines and promoting increased access to affordable medical treatments. For more information please visit www.sabin.org